Footprints in the Snow (or Marking Up a Text)

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SWBAT: show their thinking and how much of the text they comprehend by annotating a text about Dr. Martin Luther KIng.

Big Idea

Marking up a text, annotating, leaving footprints in the us your thinking, kids!

Guiding Question

5 minutes

My students answer a guiding question every day. The Guiding Question today is a kind of pre-assessment for me. I am wondering if they have experienced this strategy before, and to what extent they are comfortable marking up a text.

I anticipate that my students have underlined important phrases in a book, or a text, but the idea of "thinking" on a text might be new for them.

The Common Core wants students, by the end of the year, to read and comprehend texts (both literary and informational) that are complex. I can't help my students do this unless I begin to assess their comprehension levels, and the two most informal ways I practice are reading students' annotations and conferring with students about what they've read.


10 minutes

I Do It:

On the document camera, I read the article "Honoring King's Dream" out loud while I annotate. While I read, I think out loud and make connections, and ask questions. For example, I might ask "This happened in 1963 and I know that my parents were alive then. I wonder if they heard this famous speech on the radio?"

Because I write in the white margins, I tell the students that it is like leaving footprints in the snow! Here is the annotated article after I finished modeling how to do it.

Work time

25 minutes

We Do It:

I turn off the document camera, and ask that the students reread the first few paragraphs (the ones I modeled) while they track their own thinking. 

I circulate around the room to make sure they are able to make connections, or ask questions. I use this time to confer with students who seem stuck, and try to transfer their thinking on the page.

They Do It:

Then they are asked to read the rest of the article, and annotate their thinking on their own. This student example shows basically what I expect from my kiddos.


Wrap Up

10 minutes

Students glue these reflection stems into their notebook at the beginning of the year, and they choose one at the close of each class.